Reach Out or Reach Down?

                Lately I have been thinking a lot about reaching out to our church neighbors and invite them to our church services. My plan is simple: Go out on Saturday mornings around the neighborhood and talk to them about Christ and our church.

                I pray that we will be successful and that many will join our church either as first time believers or as mature Christians seeking a Bible-believing and Bible-preaching church. I also pray that at least some of our church members will join me in this outreach effort.

                Most churches engage in some form of outreach or another. Vacation Bible Schools, Block Parties, Yard Sales, Potluck Meals, Free Clinics, Movie or Concert Nights, Sport Tournaments, Super Bowl Parties, Halloween Festivals, Back to School Events, Recovery Groups, Car Washes, English Classes, Food Pantries and don’t forget Bingo Nights in Roman Catholic churches.

                I think that sometimes we confuse reaching out to unbelievers with the Gospel of Christ with reaching “down” to the world. We have watered down the Gospel message in many churches in America and the world. Our church buildings have become hosts of every imaginable kind of event under the sun, while the faithful preaching and teaching of God’s Word is neglected.

                Reaching down to the world does not work. What usually happens when we lower our standards in order to “win” others to Christ is that we lose our clear Christian testimony and the lost continue to be lost. A watered down Gospel does not save anybody, but it sure fills the hearts of millions with false hopes.

                There are very few Christian radio stations; they are now only playing “positive hits” about having a better life. The name of Jesus is rarely mentioned (unless they are asking for money in one of their “Share-a-Thons” fundraisers) and there is no Bible teaching programs. And yet, they do all this to reach others for Christ.

                The “Christ” of the water-down, prosperity, down to earth “gospel” is very easy to reach. This false Jesus appeals to almost everybody because He doesn’t make any demands. You just need to come to him. No repentance is needed. No mention of his blood sacrifice. No deep Bible study and no calls to be dedicated disciples and servants.

                Anyone can be a “Christian” like that.

                No wonder all these mega-churches are filled with so-called believers. This is the reach-down gospel at work. This false gospel has removed anything that might be offensive to unbelievers. Their churches (if they can be called that!) are centers of entertainment and secular fellowship.

                Meanwhile, churches that preach and teach the true Gospel suffer from lack of attendance and spiritual apathy from some members. I prefer to be a part of a “boring” church that preaches the Gospel than to attend a big church with many empty programs and ministries.

                A. G.

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